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Union Home Ministry seeks detailed report

Union Home Ministry seeks detailed report
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Highlights

The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Central government has sought detailed reports from both the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State government regarding the police encounters in the two states on Tuesday. It might be recalled that in the alleged encounter that took place in Seshachalam forest area of Chittoor district of AP, as many as 20 alleged Red Sander smugglers were gunned down.

Police encounters in AP, TS

  • Centre more worried over gunning down of 20 loggers from Tamil Nadu
  • It fears anti-BJP forces will try to exploit it by comparing the killings with the ‘massacre of Tamil speaking people’ in Sri Lanka
Hyderabad: The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Central government has sought detailed reports from both the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State government regarding the police encounters in the two states on Tuesday. It might be recalled that in the alleged encounter that took place in Seshachalam forest area of Chittoor district of AP, as many as 20 alleged Red Sander smugglers were gunned down. The police claimed to have killed in encounter when the smugglers attacked the police and Forest officials with stones and deadly weapons.
The five-member “terrorists” gang of Viqaruddin was gunned down by the police on the national high way near Alair in Telangana State after an attempt was made by the gang members to escape while being brought from the Central Jail in Warangal to Nampally Court in Hyderabad. The AP government and the police claimed that it was an encounter jointly launched by the police and Forest officials to nab scores of smugglers who had sneaked into the forest area to cut and carry away the valuable Red Sanders logs.
However the Tamil Nadu authorities, besides civil rights activists and opposition political parties, alleged that it was a fake encounter and brutal massacre of innocent coolies belonging to the bordering Vellore and Thiruvannmalai districts lured into the forest area by the smugglers. Even the AP Congress Committee had petitioned the National Human Rights Commission terming it as a fake encounter and murder of innocent coolies. Even as protests over the “mass killings of Tamils” continued to rage in Tamilnadu with dharnas and rallies, the civil rights activists filed a lunch motion petition in the High Court at Hyderabad demanding a CBI probe into the Seshachalam forest drama and adequate compensation to the families of those killed.
Doubts are also being raised in different quarters over the killing of the five-member Viqaruddin gang on the Warangal-Hyderabad national highway. The bodies of the deceased militants were found handcuffed and chained and lying in the police van and hence it is being argued that there was no scope for the militants to open fire on the police escorts. Even if Viqaruddin had snatched a weapon and opened fire on the RSI escort as was being claimed by the authorities, the need for “indiscriminate firing was questioned on the four others who seated deep inside the van.
As matter of fact Viqaruddin’s father and even MIM president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that it was a pre-planned murder to eliminate the five persons as their trial in the court was coming to a close. Viqarudin’ father was also planning to approach the High Court in this regard.
With divergent opinions being expressed over the so-called encounters in both AP and Telangana states and as they were steadily snowballing into a major political controversy, the Ministry Home Affairs sought a detailed report from both the state governments. Informed sources said the central government was more perturbed about the Seshachalam forest episode as the anti-BJP forces were trying to exploit the incident by comparing it to “genocide” of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Taking a serious note about terrorist elements suddenly surfacing in Telangana State, the Central government is reportedly keen that apart from the State Police, the NIA should probe to unearth the presence of any sleeper cells of ISI and SIMI in the State and derail their activities in time.
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